Village officers under MPLRC

As per the rules made under Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code (MPLRC), Revenue Officers appoint some village officers such as Patels and Kotwars. These village officers collect land tax, maintain boundary lines, keep the village clean, and carry out other duties as assigned by revenue officers. Chapter XVII of MPLRC contains various provisions related to Village Officers.

Here is a law note that talks about the provisions related to village officers under MPLRC, like Patels and Kotwars, in detail.

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Patels Under MPLRC

The Patel is the village officer who collects and pays land revenue in the Gram Kosh. The provisions related to appointment, remuneration, duties, etc., are given under sections 222 to 229 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code.

Appointment of Patels

The provision related to the appointment of Patel is given under section 222 of the MPLRC. Accordingly, the Collector appoints one or more Patels for each village or group of villages. The appointment is, however, made subject to the rules set forth in section 258 of the MPLRC.

Further, if two or more Patels are appointed in a village, the Collector has the authority to allocate the duties of the Patels as he thinks fit.

The qualifications for being eligible for the appointment of Patels are:

The person to be appointed as Patels must not be:

  1. Less than 21 years of age;
  2. Recorded as Bhumiswami in the concerned village’s Land Records;
  3. Undischarged insolvent;
  4. Unsuitable due to reason of financial position;
  5. Convicted for any offence;
  6. Mentally or physically unfit to carry out the duties of the Patel;
  7. Illiterate or incapable of keeping accurate records;
  8. Have not paid land revenue or other duties willfully.

Remuneration or Salary of Patels

According to section 223 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, the Collector determines the remuneration or salary of the Patels. The Collector determines the remuneration in accordance with rules and regulations established by the state government.

Duties of Patels

Section 224 of MPLRC enumerates the duties of the Patel. Accordingly, these are the duties of the Patels:

  • To collect land revenue and any associated taxes and cess payable by him, as well as any other government dues after deducting collection charges as set by the state government from time to time, and to deposit them in the government treasury.
  • To provide reports to the Collector concerning the condition and situation of his village. Also, the report is to be provided at such places and times as the Collector may specify.
  • To prevent encroachment or intrusion on wasteland, public walkways, and roadways of the villages.
  • To preserve any stations and boundary marks displayed in his village by surveyors in the service of the government and in case of any damage to such marks, report it.
  • To maintain the village’s sanitary conditions.
  • To prohibit the unauthorized cutting of wood and removal of minerals or any other property that belongs to the state government.
  • To supervise and regulate the Kotwars.

Removal and Punishment of Patels

The provision related to the removal of Patels is given under section 226 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code. Subsequently, Patel can be removed from the office by the Collector.

Further, according to section 227 of the MPLRC, if Patel is found to be neglectful and careless towards performing his duty, the Tahsildar can impose a fine of up to twenty rupees on him.

Appointment of Substitute Patels

Section 228 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code empowers the Sub-Divisional Officer to appoint a substitute for the Patel if the Patel is temporarily unavailable for the execution of his duties. This can be done by the Sub-Divisional Officer either on receiving the application made by the Patel or otherwise. The substitute Patel can be appointed for a period of up to six months. Further, the replacement Patel so appointed is deemed to be the Patel for the purpose of this Code.

Kotwar Under MPLRC

The Kotwars are the village officers who keep a watch and ward over the houses and properties of the villagers. They generally assist the government officers visiting the village to discharge their duties. The provisions related to Kotwars are contained under two sections: section 230 and section 231 of the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code.

Appointment and Remuneration of Kotwars

Firstly, section 230 of the MPLRC states that every person who holds the status of village watchman in Bhopal and Sironj regions or is a Chowkidar in the Vindhya Pradesh region at the time the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code came into force or took effect is considered to be a Kotwar.

Further, section 231 of the MPLRC provides the provision related to the remuneration of Kotwars. According to this section, the Kotwars are entitled to receive service land or remuneration or both for their services. The norms for providing service land or remuneration or both are determined by the state government from time to time by general order.

Conclusion

The Patel is the village officer who collects and pays land revenue in the Gram Kosh, whereas the Kotwars are the village officers who keep a watch and ward over the houses and properties of the villagers.

The appointment and removal of Patels are made by the Collector. Similarly, the salary of Patels is also determined by the Collector. And the salary of Kotwars is determined by the state government.

Read Next:
1. Appeal, Revision and Review Under MPLRC
2. Revenue Board Under Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code
3. Provisions Related to Consolidation of Holdings Under MPLRC
4. Revenue Officers and Their Powers Under the Madhya Pradesh Land Revenue Code, 1959

Subhashini Parihar
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